Utpal Das, the new generation star face of Assamese cinema talks to Dibyendu Goswami on issues pertaining to the present condition of Assamese films, show business and his on-going acting assignments to hit the screen in the near future. Catching up this smart Guwahatian at a city’s coffee joint on a Sunday evening in the backdrop of the Day of Solidarity which was observed by the Film Fraternity of Assam (to overcome the on-going crisis the industry is facing) recently, he relieves some of his opinions to a number of queries in an exclusive face to face interview.
What made you come to the front of the camera for all these years ?
I am not from any filmy background. It all happened while I was participating in a personality test event way back during my college days. Tapan Das was in the show as a panellist who spotted me and proposed my name for the VCD film Ringa Ringa Mon in 2005. This was the starting point.
Coming to mobile theatre where you have been working for a year, how was your experience ? Do you feel that the system is good enough since it has proved to be the only surviving entertainment industry here in Assam?
The industry has got some problems though it has given bread and butter to many. The system need to be re-organised right from the grassroots to provide better facilities both financially and otherwise to each and everyone proportionately related to the business. As far my personel experience is concerned, I passed through a very traumatic period which is known to possibly all connected to this field.
Well, you have been acting for quite some time now and that too successfully. Ramdhenu and Rowd are well made movies and technically impressive. Inspite of that, all went wasted except the first one possibly. Reason behind from your side and how do you for-see the future of Assamese cinema ?
The commercial success of a film depends upon a lot of factors i.e marketing, releasing at proper time, co-ordination with exhibitors, publicity etc. All these need to go smoothly together. Moreover shortage of movie halls is a huge problem. There must be a clear cut policy to promote regional cinema by constructing mini cinema halls in the rural areas. This will definitely increase the veiwer’s number since mobile theatres are surviving mainly in these rural pockets. As for the industry, people crying over the on-going crisis is concerned, to my mind, instead of mourning over the existing problems, we should better try to transform our words into action.
Music videos are like soapoperas these days for exhibiting not only the actors but also the singers as well who want to promote their albums. How do you rate this from a veiwer’s perpective? Is it not excessive?
I do agree to some extent but these items also sustains the actor’s screen presence (even if in the small screen) whatsoever, more so in the case of an Assamese artiste. Moreover, since a story concept is reduced to five minutes work, it also acts as a time saver amidst busy schedules sometimes. As far the singers are concerned, I think it definitely helps in their carrier as electronic media, especially television is making waves all around.
Assamese celluloid (all pervasive) today is far more competitive than what it was earlier and which is definitely a welcome sign. Do you think the field is wide enough to provide space to work for proving oneself?
Definitely. Technically we are improving and so we need to be more commited. Good films have to be made and there is no short cut to success. Entertainment has to be provided through a well scripted story with proper direction.
How do you rate the present popular taste of Assamese viewers in respect of both celluloid and theatre? It has been opined by some quarters that present mobile theatre too have lost it’s previous dignity both in terms of subject and treatement. Your comment ?
Change is there and it will happen. But we need to be careful so that a balance is maintained keeping all things intact without hampering the other. We must know how to display the good things fitted to the popular demand.
Your future projects ?
As of now I am busy in an IndoBhutan bi-lateral project though it is yet to be kicked off formally. Again there are the music videos which are much popular these days besides being very lucrative for our acting profession.
You have been in the television screen too with Tumi Dusokut Kajal lole, Moromor Anuradha, and recently Protishobi telecasted through the private channels. Do you have any other on the cards ? How do you rate having acted in the TV screen than that of big screen?
Recently I have been associated again with a serial of an entertainment channel. As far as acting is concerned, it makes no difference to me since I fully believe in good performance, whether it is in big or small screen. You can prove your talent in either of these mediums.
You have been in the VCD’s for long. How have you benefitted by acting in this genre?
Well I started my acting journey with this format and people identify me because of these VCD’s. Hence I cannot deny their contribution of what I am today. As far as acting is concerned, yes definitely when I do a feature film, it needs me to be more careful and cautious than the others like the music videos or so.
Well after being in the glamour outfit for so long, do you have any plan to venture into the parallel films to get in touch with the world class cinema ? For that matter do you think that your best is yet to come?
Yes I do. In fact talks are on in that line. Let’s hope things work out for me in the near future. I am ever willing to work with people of those standard.
Of late, you have been picked up by the corporates for commercial quickies, marketing several consumer brands. Do you think this is a good parameter for measuring your popularity ?
Well, I am already getting good numbers of fan following over social media. Let’s see how far I can carry on their expectations in the near future.
Recently you had participated in a fashion show which was an unique attempt with a totally new concept. How did you feel being a part of it?
I felt very excited when the offer came to me and the show received good response.
This article was first published on GPlus